Construction Today Volume 18 Issue 1

Page 1

VOLUME 18, ISSUE 1

construction-today.com

Pushing boundaries 2021 has the potential to be transformative for the construction industry - but only if firms and workers continue to build their resiliency muscles

Tunneling Remote-controlled equipment offers distinct safety advantages underground pg.4

Artificial intelligence How artificial intelligence can help to revolutionize the construction sector pg.8



Editor’s Letter Chairman Andrew Schofield Managing Director Joe Woolsgrove Editor - Libbie Hammond libbie@schofieldpublishing.com Assistant Editor - Will Daynes

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COLUMNS AND CONTRIBUTIONS

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Hello and welcome to the first issue of 2021! While Covid-19 continues to challenge us, I have been bolstered by the amount of positive feedback about the US housing sector that’s coming through. Historically low interest rates have been causing buyers to look at their home and ask if they can do better, in location, size or style. While the rates could increase over the next 12 months, predictions seem to be indicating the trend will continue. That’s great news for the construction sector as it looks to create the dream homes these buyers are looking for. Further forecasts for what the future VOLUME 18, ISSUE 1

holds for the construction sector can be found on page 12 in our Trends feature. Allison Scott

construction-today.com

from Autodesk highlights four areas that will drive industry-wide resiliency in the years ahead – take a look at the article to see what

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Pushing boundaries 2021 has the potential to be transformative for the construction industry - but only if firms and workers continue to build their resiliency muscles

Finelight Media

Tunneling Remote-controlled

207 E. Ohio Street, Suite 351,

distinct safety advantages underground

XX

equipment offers

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T: (312) 854-0123

Please note: The opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers within this

pg.4

Artificial intelligence How artificial intelligence can help to revolutionize the construction sector pg.8

Libbie Hammond EDITOR

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Features 4

TUNNELING

Cross passage excavation or tunnel wall concrete removal can be beneficial to contractors looking

18

to improve project speed and quality while also reducing risk to workers

4

8

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

When unforeseen circumstances arise, those

Pro-Can Constructio

leading with AI will find their crews equipped to move forward in confidence, without drastic impact to the bottom line

12 TRENDS The year 2021 has the potential to be transformative for the industry - but only if firms and workers continue to build their resiliency

30

34

muscles to future-proof their businesses

12

16 NEWS The latest news and announcements from the world of North American construction – contracts, projects, products and more!

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Groom Construction


Profiles

24

truction Group

34

Perfetto Contracting Co

40

The Kearney Companies

Hylan 3 WWW.CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM


Robotic

tunneling Improving tunneling safety and productivity with remote-controlled machines. By Mike Martin and Keith Armishaw

Main image: Remote-controlled demolition machines bring heightened worker safety and efficiency to the jobsite. The machine’s compact size combined with a powerful three-part arm translates to a high power-toweight ratio. An operator directs the equipment from a safe distance, away from falling debris and other hazards

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Tunneling

T

he tunneling industry, like construction overall, is constantly evolving with new innovations to improve speed, safety and quality

of work. From advancements in tunneling equipment to new methods of completing old processes, it’s in a contractor’s best interest to stay informed of potentially profit-boosting developments. Many contractors have found success with remote-controlled machines in a number of underground applications. These machines offer significant safety and productivity benefits over traditional methods — often removing the need for four to five person crews with hand tools — and allowing contractors to better utilize their workforce. A range of attachments and overall versatility also increase growth potential for owners, enabling them to tackle excavation, cleaning and more in tunnels and pipes from five to 30 feet in diameter. Here’s how.

Remote-controlled demolition robots Remote-controlled demolition machines bring heightened worker safety and efficiency to the jobsite. The machine’s compact size combined with a powerful three-part arm translates to a high power-to-weight ratio — much greater than any excavator in the same weight class. An operator remotely directs the equipment from a safe distance, away from falling debris and other hazards. Contractors use the robots in developing tunnels or expanding existing tunnels. One consistent tunnel application is the development of cross passages between parallel tunnels. Here, the robotic three-part boom allows for less overhead clearance and provides a far more productive solution. Traditionally, a standard excavator couldn’t get to these tight spaces or, if it could, took up a lot of valuable work space, restricting movement and access. This led contractors to rely on more manual methods, such as laborers with handheld tools. The compact size of remotecontrolled machines, however, provides a hard-hitting mechanical solution that results in significant time savings. A tunneling contractor working on a massive Sound Transit Link Light Rail expansion project saw this in 2017, completing multiple cross passages a week

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Above: Contractors often use remote-controlled demolition machines in tunneling during the excavation

faster than they would have with handheld

and construction of small cross passages between parallel tunnels. There, contractors often see significant

tools and mini excavators.

time savings while using the machines instead of traditional methods, such as handheld tools Below: Often used in rehabilitation applications, Hydrodemolition robots use high-pressure water from 15,000 to 40,000 psi to remove loose or deteriorated concrete from tunnel walls, later to be replaced with fresh, strong material. Additionally, contractors use the machines for light material removal

Additionally, the remote-controlled machines excel at multiple tasks during the cross passage construction process, increasing versatility and productivity. Contractors use a variety of optional tools to excavate the cross passage while keeping workers out of harm’s way. In addition to buckets, breakers and drum cutters, this can include using a rock drill attachment to drill holes for well points, spiles or for ground freezing. Then, an operator uses the machine with a breaker attachment to bust through the tunnel’s concrete wall. Once through, contractors use the machine to excavate the cross passage, with the benefit of keeping workers away from the unsecured cross passage face.

Hydrodemolition robots Hydrodemolition robots are another remotecontrolled type of equipment that offers improved results during tunneling projects. Often used in rehabilitation applications, the robots use high pressure water from 15,000 to 40,000 psi to remove loose or deteriorated concrete from tunnel walls, later to be replaced

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Tunneling Top: The machines’ versatility allows them to excel at multiple tasks during the cross passage construction process. Here, workers use the machine with a beam manipulator attachment

Below: One type of Hydrodemolition robot accessory allows operators to remove 360 degrees of concrete from a tunnel’s inner wall

to remove 360 degrees of concrete from a tunnel’s inner wall. Contractors attach the robot’s cutting head to the end of the attachment, which rotates and moves the water jets along the circumference of the wall. The robot then moves forward to the next section of concrete to repeat the process. Unlike traditional methods, such as handheld breakers or hand lances, the cutting head of the Hydrodemolition robot stays an even distance away from the surface, allowing for an even depth of material removal throughout the process, even in uneven- or oval-shaped tunnels. Tunneling innovations Taking a new approach to tunnel development, tunnel expansion, cross passage excavation or tunnel wall concrete removal can be beneficial to contractors looking to improve project speed and quality while also reducing risk to their with fresh, strong material. Additionally,

may optimize the robots further by pairing

workers. Remote-controlled equipment doesn’t

contractors use the machines for light material

them with tunneling-specific attachments

remove the worker from the equation, but it

removal or surface preparation.

to improve consistency and quality. One type

goes a long way toward ensuring they go home

of accessory provides operators the ability

safely after completing a job.

The robots are valuable for use in tunnel cleaning or maintenance work. This includes road, train, subway, pedestrian, utility, water, wastewater tunnels and penstocks, where crews typically use the equipment to remove old, damaged concrete or liners in order to prepare the surface for repair. Robots are also used for mining applications, such repairing the shaft for the elevator. Depending on the application, contractors

Mike Martin is vice president of operations for Brokk Inc, in Monroe, Washington. Brokk has been the world’s leading manufacturer of remote-controlled demolition machines and attachments for more than 40 years. www.brokk.com Keith Armishaw is the Aquajet business development manager in North America through Brokk Inc. Aquajet is known as the industry leader in hydrodemolition machines and solutions, both in terms of quality and volume. www.aquajet.se

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Future

vision Rene Morkos takes a look at the use of artificial intelligence and how it can help to revolutionise the construction sector

C

onstruction has been a growing

trillion per year is devoted to construction-

is swiftly changing. The need to improve

industry since humans first

related activity. But while productivity and

productivity, minimize downtime, and

realized the need for shelter. Still,

cost-efficiency in other industries have

reduce the overall cost of construction is

the building boom of today is

been dramatically improved by digitization,

critical - and driving new interest in the

a reluctance to embrace new technologies

adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and

has left the construction industry lagging

machine learning. Early adopters have

behind.

proven that model-based scheduling tools

unlike anything the world has seen. According to recent research published by

McKinsey & Company, more than seven per cent of the world’s labor force and over $10

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In today’s environment, that attitude

and solutions can streamline development,


Artificial intelligence

optimize operations, and help identify

describe programs which mimic human

create a one-of-a kind platform that is able

time and savings costs for both design and

thinking to solve problems. AI makes it

to run millions of construction simulations

construction - often, with dramatic increase

possible for computers to learn from

in minutes, and generate schedules that

in productivity and profitability.

historical data, adjust quickly to new

are optimized for project duration, cost, and

information, and perform human-like tasks

many other objectives. Our reasoning was

Artificial Intelligence - a revolutionary tool

at incredible speed.

simple - while the introduction and adoption

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term used to

leverage the computational power of AI to

At ALICE Technologies, we chose to

of digital tools and softwares such as CAD and parametric design have revolutionized

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“Following in the footsteps of Build Group, modern construction companies are realizing the benefits of leveraging AI to create and assess what-if scenarios and contingency plans and McKinsey’s study cited growing adoption of AI for overcoming challenges related to cost, scheduling, and safety”

portions of the design and engineering

complicated scheduling and oversight of

processes, no similar tools were available for

smaller construction projects, the additional

addressing the highly complex challenges of

complexity and longer timelines of large-

construction scheduling and management.

scale projects are far more difficult to master. This complexity makes manual estimating

How does it improve construction?

and management both burdensome and

Today’s planning and scheduling functions

ineffective. A delay or shortage can require

are detailed and complex - and as the level

extensive reconfigurations - and without the

of complexity rises, so does the exposure to

assistance of technology, even minor issues

risk. In fact, McKinsey estimates that 98 per

can snowball to impact the entire timeline

cent of projects exceeding $1B in cost are (on

and project cost.

average) 80 per cent over budget - and 20 months behind schedule. It’s not really a surprising statistic to most

precision and accurate insight are critical.

schedule is still a time-intensive manual

Most technologies and solutions designed

process, one that relies heavily on the

for construction simply streamline execution

gut-sense and personal knowledge of

by digitizing antiquated manual processes.

experienced builders. It often takes weeks

Though this can be helpful for improving

of continuous back-and-forth between the

organization and managerial oversight, you

architect, owner, developer, and general

can’t fix a bad plan. ALICE is capable of taking

contractor to account for even a small

these efforts further, leveraging powerful AI

change to a single timeline. This means that

to help you start a project with the best plan

even a simple delay can disrupt an entire

in place.

While a team of skilful, experienced people may be capable of effectively managing the

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millions of dollars are at stake, detailed

industry players. Assembling a construction

schedule.

10

There is no substitute for human intuition and experience - but when hundreds of

Designed to integrate with the tools and software solutions already used by construction contractors and developers


Artificial intelligence worldwide, ALICE’s powerful AI acts as a force multiplier, leveraging intelligent optimization to generate a multitude of possible scenarios and potential solutions. This means human users can input and solve complex challenges on high-value construction projects with incredible ease and accuracy, in mere minutes. ALICE boosts productivity and costefficiency dramatically, analyzing and exploring scenarios to help you identify potential issues before they arise. ALICE can quickly assess millions of options and solutions, proposing alternative approaches which empower your team. When challenges arise mid-project, whether they be permitting issues, supply delays, or labor shortages, teams can use ALICE to immediately explore alternative solutions that minimize the impact on their project and get it back on track.

AI in Action: ALICE and 5M The benefits of AI are obvious when applied to projects such as 5M, Build Group’s principal application of ALICE Technologies. Scheduled

Project, P6 schedules, and different

challenges related to cost, scheduling, and

to open in 2021, 5M is a highly-complex

hand-drawn iterations to figure out best

safety.

project which prioritizes the preservation

solutions, best crane placement locations,

Potential use cases for leveraging AI are

and revitalization of historic buildings.

best sequence cycles, manpower, working

still being explored, but today’s tools already

Designed to incorporate a 24-level, 640,000

hours for a project - all very time consulting

offer significant advantage when applied

sq.ft. office tower, and 302 apartments

to evaluate in a more manual fashion. With

to construction. Early adopters (such as

(including 91 affordable housing units), the

ALICE, we are able to upload some basic

Build Group) benefit most from prioritizing

project also replaces former vacant land with

parameters in terms of recipes and time

technology which addresses their greatest

the 26,000 sq.ft. Mary Court public park

constraints and productivity constraints,

challenges: streamlining construction

(which includes both a children’s playground

and have it quickly generate millions of

scheduling and ensuring timely completion.

and dog run). 5M has created over 1200 jobs

different solutions.”

To put it simply, tools such as ALICE aren’t simply a step towards greater productivity

in San Francisco, and is forecasted to create an additional 4100 permanent jobs in the

A force-multiplying solution

and efficiency - they’re incredible insurance

city upon completion.

Following in the footsteps of Build Group,

against the impact of the unexpected. When

modern construction companies are

unforeseen circumstances arise - which we

demonstrate how their project will come

realizing the benefits of leveraging AI to

all know they will - those leading with AI will

together in a timely and cost-effective

create and assess what-if scenarios and

find their crews equipped to move forward

manner. This transparency helps build trust

contingency plans - and McKinsey’s study

in confidence, without drastic impact to the

with the client. On average, ALICE-driven

cited growing adoption of AI for overcoming

bottom line.

With ALICE’s help, Build Group can easily

projects finish 17 per cent faster than conventionally planned, while cutting project labor and heavy equipment costs by 14 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively. As 5M Project Director Michael MacBean stated, “Traditionally, we would have involved multiple parties from our construction team - from precon, to superintendents, to project managers - to evaluate complicated projects.

Rene Morkos is founder and CEO of ALICE Technologies, the world’s first AIpowered construction simulation platform. ALICE enables contractors and owners to plan, bid, and build more effectively, reducing construction times and labor costs by $30 million for a typical $500 million construction project. ALICE recently announced a round of financing with FUTURE Ventures, headed by Steve Juvetson (early backer of Tesla and the BORING company). www.alicetechnologies.com

We’d use models, pictographs, Microsoft

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Pushing

boundaries Four construction trends we’ll see in 2021 for a more resilient industry. By Allison Scott

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Trends

W

e’ve seen dramatic changes

resiliency muscles to future-proof their

these challenges is an AEC industry call-to-

in the construction industry

businesses and strengthen the industry

action. Firms that are already exploring next-

over the last year. Although

overall.

generation net-zero construction, creative

the challenges are immense,

material use/re-use, intelligent infrastructure

the evolution is incredible. In 2020, we saw a

Here are four leading trends that will drive

projects and renewable energy projects will

renaissance of new workflows, partnerships

industry-wide resiliency in the years ahead:

be well-positioned to take advantage of the

and mindsets – all making the industry stronger together. Still, we have a long road ahead.

rise of ‘resilient’ projects that encourage

Rising investment in sustainability First, there will be a renewed focus on

sustainability. Similarly, digital infrastructure projects

According to FMI, construction traditionally

environmental resiliency, focusing on how

like data centers are also poised to grow

lags 12 to 18 months behind general

energy sources, infrastructure and the built

as the rise of digitization has accelerated

recessions. ‘Resiliency’ will be an operative

environment play a part in combating climate

due to remote working brought on by the

word for the industry to continue moving

change. There is now well-documented

pandemic. Since mission critical facilities use

and excelling in the year ahead and beyond.

evidence of how communities across the

tremendous amounts of energy, more and

The year 2021 has the potential to be

globe are being impacted by environmental

more digital infrastructure projects will seek

transformative for the industry - but only

events, the need for reliable energy sources

to lower their environmental footprint by

if firms and workers continue to build their

and more. Being creative in our approach to

improving their facilities with heating/cooling

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efficiency, as well as exploring renewable energy sources.

Driving innovation with culture Second, construction firms will continue to increase their focus on building a resilient workforce. As the pandemic showed, firms that readied teams with connected technology, remote working solutions and cultivated a culture of empathy, trust and flexibility have been able to weather the ups and downs of the last year. However, this roller coaster ride also stretched teams to their limits. We’ve all been dealing with the blurred lines of home and work life. The ability to adjust strategy and process has been impressive, but culture ultimately trumps strategy in the long term. I’m optimistic that leading construction firms will take the challenges of the last year as an opportunity to revisit a number of their human resources and culture initiatives such as improving training of construction technology to include a broader set of roles both on and off the site; widening the talent pool by developing new roles for digital natives and a more diverse population; developing unique and fast-growth career paths that encourage folks to stay in the industry; increasing health and wellness benefits to include things like mental health, stress management and family-friendly care options; and increasing employee engagement tactics to improve a sense of community and build a culture of trust among distributed teams.

Reinventing business models Third, many leading construction firms have taken on new technology over the last few years and increased their attention towards things like digitization as central to their work. However, most construction firms’ business models have not provided the right

formalizing an internal cross-functional

technology and increased their attention

amount of resources and flexibility to support

innovation council within their companies that

towards digitization as being central to their

true innovation that will create exponential

are also responsible for change management

work. Covid-19 has only accelerated the use

growth. Simply adding new tools to the stack

and program management; exploring

of technology and digital workflows in the

doesn’t solve the root challenge of stagnant

innovation R&D tax incentives; and applying

industry. For 2021 and beyond, this opens

or out-of-date workflows, nor does it create

a culture-driven approach to technology

the doors to even more opportunities for

lasting differentiation.

adoption that balances performance

businesses to reimagine how they utilize

incentives with behavior change.

technology and data to build resiliency,

As construction firms take on the challenge of future proofing beyond 2021, leaders have

including virtual collaboration, AI and machine

an opportunity to drive an innovation mindset

Reimagining technology & data

and rethink their technology investment and

Over the last few years, many leading

Businesses have more data than ever

adoption strategy. Examples may include

construction firms have taken on new

before; we will see a significant increase

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learning.


Trends

in firms taking advantage of this new

liminal moment for construction – a sea

what 2021 will bring, we do know that our

information and creating more core

change, if you will – that is poised to unlock

industry’s advancement hinges on our ability

competencies around data, analytics and

increased resiliency for people, process and

to successfully reinvent, adapt and push

business intelligence. Examples include

technology. While we don’t know exactly

boundaries.

standardizing and formalizing data plans and strategies company-wide, expanding the use of connected and integrated technology solutions to reduce data silos and disconnects, and the growing utilization of dashboarding and analytics tools to inform project and business-level decisions.

Allison Scott is Director, Construction Thought Leadership & Customer Marketing at Autodesk. Autodesk Construction Cloud is a powerful portfolio of construction management software that combines advanced technology, a unique builders network and predictive insights to connect people and data across the entire building lifecycle, from design through to operations. construction.autodesk.com

We are at an important and exciting

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News In Brief Montana acquisition

Award winners Dewitt Tilton

Easterly Government Properties,

Group, a leading

Inc., a fully integrated real estate

commercial

investment trust focused primarily

construction

on the acquisition, development and

firm, won three

management of Class A commercial

prestigious

properties leased to the U.S.

Master Builder

Government, has acquired a 149,110-sq.

Awards, one Top

ft. US Department of the Interior (DOI)

10 Award, and a

regional office and warehouse facility in

2019 Outstanding

Billings, Montana (DOI - Billings).

Builder Award

DOI - Billings is a 100 per cent leased

from Star Building

regional facility that houses several of

Systems of

DOI’s key bureaus, including the Rocky

Oklahoma City for

Mountain Regional Office for the Bureau

2019 projects.

of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Bureau of

Dewitt Tilton Group was one of only two builders to receive Master Builder

Reclamation and the Bureau of Trust

recognition for two separate projects. “It was very exciting to see that we won not just

Funds Administration.

one, but both of the categories we submitted projects in,” noted Kim Thomas, director

Built-to-suit for the DOI in 2013, DOI

of operations.

- Billings is a first-generation, single

“We have been working with Star for nearly six years and we are thrilled to be

tenant U.S. Government leased facility

partners in commercial construction. To receive three of the Master Builder Awards,

under a 20-year non-cancelable lease

Best of Shopping Centers, Best of the Georgia District, and Best of the Mid-South

that does not expire until the end of

District, is truly an honor and a testament to the successful relationship between The

April 2033.

Dewitt Tilton Group and Star,” added Chris Tilton, one of the two company principals. “The Top 10 Award, 2019 Outstanding Builder Award, and Best of the Georgia District were unexpected surprises.”

Solution recognition DRI-STEEM Corporation (DriSteem)

Portfolio expansion

has received the BUILD Construction

Real estate

& Engineering award for the ‘Best in

investment firm

Commercial Humidification Solution Provider

Elion Partners

of 2020 for the DriSteem GTS® LX Series

(Elion) has acquired

Humidifier.’

a 180,000-square-

The Best in Commercial Humidification

foot Class A last-mile

Solution award is selected by the BUILD

industrial asset

Construction & Engineering research

known as Griffin

team. Those selected met merit-oriented

Pointe Business Park located at 2281 Griffin Road in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

criteria researched via public domain with

The $31.5 million acquisition is a part of a series of acquisitions the firm has

many factors taken into consideration. The

planned for its last-mile portfolio aggregation strategy across key logistics markets,

nominee proved evidence of expertise

including Broward and Miami-Dade County.

within their field, dedication to customer

“The building’s characteristics together with the supply-constrained nature of the

service and client satisfaction with an

airport submarket make the asset ideal for last-mile real estate,” said Michael Stellino,

ongoing commitment to excellence and

Senior Managing Director at Elion. “We are confident the addition of this Class A

innovation.

building and location will complement our portfolio well.”

“We are truly thrilled to receive this

The firm plans to continue to pursue an investment strategy focused on first,

prestigious award, five years running.

middle, and last-mile logistics real estate, targeting core, urban logistics hubs near

It is always an honor when your work is

large population centers in infill coastal markets. During the second half of 2020,

recognized in the industry as being one

Elion acquired seven additional last-mile industrial distribution assets in key logistics

of the best,” said Mysty Hanson, Product

markets such as Seattle, San Francisco, Southern California, New Jersey, and South

Manager for DriSteem.

Florida. Elion’s investment vehicles hold an existing portfolio of last-mile logistics real estate across the US.

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News Access to the Texas Triangle

Safety solution

Hines has announced that Hines Global Income Trust, Inc. (Hines Global) has acquired an Amazon-leased e-commerce fulfilment center

Pure Safety Group’s Guardian Fall Protection brand has introduced

northeast of San Antonio in Schertz, Texas.

a new cable lanyard, compatible for leading edges, that combines

The 1,262,294-square-foot Class A, e-commerce fulfilment center

the lightweight durability of a fixed-length lanyard that permits up

is located in the rapidly growing I-35 corridor between San Antonio

to 12 feet of fall protection during the event of a free fall from an

and Austin. This location provides direct access to the ‘Texas Triangle’

at-height working surface.

serving a population of over 25 million people living in or around

Through extensive research and development in Guardian’s ISO/

Austin/San Antonio, Houston and the Dallas/Fort Worth metros.

IEC:10725-compliant laboratory, the company established rigorous

“This is a critical location with a high growth consumer base,” said

leading-edge verification testing procedures to ensure consistent

Laura Denkler, Managing Director at Hines. “We continue to pursue

performance of the lanyard over a wide range of extreme

logistics assets with immediate proximity to population density and

conditions.

solid connectivity to major thoroughfares. This acquisition is another step forward for Hines in the Austin/San Antonio marketplace.” Omar Thowfeek, Hines Managing Director of Hines Global, added:

Available in single- or dual-leg configurations with steel rebar or snap hooks, the Cable Leading Edge Lanyards feature a vinyl-coated, galvanized steel cable, combined with Guardian’s

“We are excited about this acquisition and we will maintain our

proprietary high-efficiency external shock absorber. A high-

strategy of seeking out exceptional opportunities as we continue to

visibility orange shock pack cover helps confirm proper application

cultivate our investment depth and breadth in this expanding sector.”

suitability, even from a distance.

Las Vegas homes KB Home has announced the grand opening of Ascent, a new enclave of townhomes in the highly desirable Summerlin master plan in West Las Vegas. The Ascent at Summerlin sales office and model homes are open for private in-person tours by appointment, and walk-in visits are welcome. Homebuyers also have the flexibility to arrange a live video tour with a sales counselor. Pricing begins from the low $300,000s. The master-planned community offers homebuyers numerous resort-style amenities, including swimming pools, community centers and sport fields and courts. Ascent at Summerlin is also convenient to Interstate 215 for easy access to the Las Vegas Strip and the area’s major employment centers as well as popular outdoor recreation at Red Rock Canyon and an abundance of shopping, dining and entertainment options in Downtown Summerlin. The two-story townhomes at Ascent at Summerlin showcase design characteristics such as open kitchens overlooking expansive great rooms, large master suites with walk-in closets, lofts, ample storage space and balconies in select floor plans. The community’s floor plans feature up to four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, and range in size from approximately 1,400 to 1,800 square feet. Furthrmore, every KB home is designed to be ENERGY STAR certified thanks to the quality construction techniques and materials utilized that ultimately deliver significant savings on utility bills compared to used homes. Additionally, all new KB homes are designed to deliver an enhanced indoor environment and include high performance ventilation systems, low- or zero-VOC products and other features guided by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Indoor airPLUS standards.

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Pro-Can Construction Group

Building

for the Future

A highly respected general contractor, Pro-Can Construction Group specializes in sustainable construction practices, institutional construction and renovation, and the development of mixed use commercial buildings

H Pro-Can Construction Group www.procangroup.com Services: General construction contractor

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aving evolved from its roots as a residential renovation company, Pro-Can Construction Group Corp (Pro-Can) stands today as a knowledgeable and experienced firm, that works tirelessly to ensure both client satisfaction and an unparalleled quality of work. Adding a variety of new services to its offering over the past three decades, the organization’s experience now covers commercial developments, industrial

buildings, public sector buildings, residential developments, heritage conversions, and more. In the areas it describes as ‘seismic upgrades’ Pro-Can has managed many public sector projects including schools, libraries, fire halls, and community centers. Sharing a few more details about the workings of Pro-Can with Construction Today is Leo Perez. Ideally placed to comment on the company, Leo began his career at Pro-Can at the young age of 16 ‘with a hard hat on


his head and a hammer in his hand’! Today the Construction Manager, Leo oversees the daily operations of every project in which the business is involved. He began with some history. “The company was founded in 1985 by my father and his business partner, Ben Perez and Tony Alonso. They started in residential renovation but decided to move towards smaller commercial and institutional construction during the Expo 86 in Vancouver. Business grew from there and by the nineties

Pro-Can had grown to include much larger jobs in the public and private sector.” Pro-Can continued on its path to success and as the company grew and evolved, so too did Leo’s experience. Starting as an onsite carpenter, he was quickly promoted to foreman and eventually site superintendent. Continuing with the family feel of the company, Tony Alonso’s niece, Sara Pou, started work at Pro-Can as an administrative assistant in the office but soon worked her

way up to a position in office management. The two have since become business partners and following Ben and Tony’s retirement in 2009, Sara and Leo took over the company and they have been moving forwards ever since. Nowadays Pro-Can prides itself in being a specialist in three areas: institutional construction, multi-family construction, and commercial construction. Leo describes its operation as ‘a smaller kind of boutique firm

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Pro-Can Construction Group

that does more medium-sized, interesting projects.’ “We only work on about four or five jobs at a time, because we really want to focus on each project and give a really personal approach to what we do. Whether it is public or private sector client, everyone at Pro-Can is very involved and hands-on, and we like to keep the ‘family business’ feel to it. We don’t have a big staff, so there are about 40 of us in total and that means that a lot of people wear a lot of hats and take on a variety of different roles,” he said. This approach of multi-skilled operatives requires a dedication to investment in training and Leo confirmed that this is definitely the case at Pro-Can. “We do invest a lot in training and promoting from within, and we have guys who have been with us for 10-15 years, and we even have employees that have been with us for 25 years. To us, it’s more about investing in people rather than equipment, as 90 to 95 per cent of our work is subbed out. “It is quite a young culture at Pro-Can,” he continued. “My partner and I are in our 40s and I would say that 70 per cent of our staff are in their 30s. Construction can be quite a serious and stressful business, so we try and keep it quite light and fun, with employee events such as go-karting or paintballing (prior to Covid-19). I think the culture is one of work hard, play hard.” The team may be small, but it contains a vast scope of expertise that can be applied to any type of construction project. Leo highlighted two great examples of Pro-

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Can’s work, to illustrate its work in the education sector. He began with Maddaugh Road Elementary School, which had a value of $24,600,000. “That is a brand new elementary school, so we started with a raw site that included about seven acres of trees and some old houses. We cleared and resurfaced it all, so the initial part with site preparation meant there was quite a detailed civil contract involved there. At the same time, there was some offsite work, where we rebuilt a large section of the road and some services. “We mobilized in January 2019 and then it was in April 2019 that we started on the actual construction of the building. It was supposed to be completed by December 2020, but the interruption of Covid-19 has slowed us down a little bit but we should be delivering in January or early February 2021.” Leo’s second example of a significant Pro-Can project is the new student union building at Simon Fraser University (SFU). This multi-million scheme aims to redefine and enrich the student experience at SFU and is the largest project that Pro-Can has been involved in to date. “It is a 110,000 sq ft

Transwest Roofing Ltd. Since 1960, Transwest Roofing Ltd. has provided the Lower Mainland of British Columbia with top quality roofing, wall cladding and sheet metal services. Transwest has grown substantially since its inception thanks to key trade partners like Pro-Can Construction. Transwest prides itself on a safety-first mentality, while delivering a multitude of industrial, commercial, and institutional projects in collaboration with quality contractors. Congratulations to Pro-Can Construction on the completion of the Maddaugh Road Elementary School project. Transwest looks forward to many more successful projects together.

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Pro-Can Construction Group

building, on five levels, which is located at the second largest university in Vancouver,” said Leo. “We started that job in 2017, there were some challenges due to groundwork as it is on a mountain, and there were a lot of weather delays, but it was finished in 2020 and it really is a beautiful building. Sadly, Covid-19 slowed down occupancy and it’s not currently being used as the university is shut down because of the virus, but all in all it is quite an amazing building.” Entirely devoted to students with l ounges, study areas, meeting rooms and recreational facilities, some of the key features of the new student union building are a napping room, a community kitchen, an online gaming lounge, music rooms and a live performance stage. “The SFU Student Union building is going to be certified LEED Gold,” added Leo, and that raised the topic of sustainability, which is very much a priority for Pro-Can. LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, and LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. Using the latest green construction practices and holding all

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storm and we have started a lot of the new projects we have lined up for 2021, which is good. For the longer term, we want to continue to grow the team and the business, and create an environment where there are less up and downs and more of a smooth trajectory, if that is what you want to call it.

“I don’t think we will ever be a company that grows to 100 employees. I think we like where we are at and we want to stay there, at the $20m-$25m a year range of revenue and in that 30-40 employee range. I think that is something we want to keep for at least the next three to five years for sure.”

of its projects to the highest environmental standards are two areas that Pro-Can is dedicated to, and Leo highlighted another aspect of this philosophy: “On some of our private sector projects we are working with the Passive House Institute to implement passive house constructability. We believe in building for the future, so this is something we are aware of and try to improve as we go forwards.” The portfolio of projects for Pro-Can continues to grow in its impressive nature, but 2020 was a difficult year for construction as it faced the challenges of Covid-19. Nevertheless, Leo was gratified to be able to say that overall, the company has fared pretty well during the pandemic. “We had some work before Covid-19 hit and we have been able to pick up quite a bit of work afterwards too,” he noted. “A couple of couple of years ago we diversified a little bit more into the private sector with specific clients and that has been going quite well, so we can’t complain, we have been doing OK so far.” Looking longer term, Leo concluded with some thoughts on the future. “Our immediate plans are to continue to weather the Covid-19

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Perfetto Contracting Co

Conquering the Concrete Jungle Perfetto Contracting Co www.perfettocontracting.com

Services: Civil construction

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NYCDDC’s Contract SANDHW13 – Reconstruction of Rockaway Beach Boulevard …paving Rockaway Beach Blvd!

A leader in the New York City heavy civil construction market for over 30 years, Perfetto Contracting Co. is a family organization that continues to make a positive impact in the communities it serves

T

here are countless challenges when working in New York City. Not only must a contracting firm negotiate relentless traffic and busy crowds, but unforeseen underground infrastructure issues are common, costs are continuously fluctuating, and markets are highly competitive industry-wide. It is in this demanding environment – in which so many businesses have floundered – that Perfetto Contracting Co. (PCC) has made its mark, building a reputation for professionalism and quality in completing complex projects for both public and private agencies. “With over three decades of experience, PCC is equipped to handle New York City’s most challenging projects, including service within heavy civil construction, utility work, waste or storm water work, water main work, parks and green infrastructure, as well as streetscape and resurfacing developments,” explains Stephen Ascoli, PCC’s Vice President of Operations. “What sets us apart is our ability to deliver the highest quality product on time, while emphasizing the importance of our relationships with our clients, vendors, and partners. It is our aim to perform work that has a positive impact on people, our society and the environment.” Founded in 1986 by Cesare Perfetto, PCC has grown substantially over the years, but the company has never lost sight of its origins. Today, the 2nd generation is well involved to make great strides to carry the company forward. Cesare’s son Chez is PCC’s Chief Operating Officer, and Matthew is co-leading the shop and equipment fleet on behalf of the company. The family nature of the organization is reflected in how it operates, both internally and externally. “The company has always been heavily involved in giving back to our surrounding

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Perfetto Contracting Co

NYCDDC’s Contract HWBARUCH: Baruch Plaza

NYSDOT’s Contract D263994: Pavement Restoration NY 9A & I278

…navigating the complex underground utility

…setting new precast roadway slabs along lower Manhattan’s

infrastructure of New York City

west side

“At the moment, we are growing at a very healthy and steady pace. We’ve competitively bid new larger heavy civil projects in NYC, which have increased our overall revenue and backlog during these uncertain times. With that said, we’re always open to bidding on new scopes of work to expand into, while maintaining our core strength to grow the business and develop our people” 26 WWW.CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM

communities,” Chez reveals. “We have done several projects where we have donated our resources to help accomplish something for churches and other community organizations.” “We’ve been involved in some major volunteering efforts over the last 20 years,” Matthew adds, “most notably during 9/11. The firm also performed numerous hours of community service in the crisis following Hurricane Sandy. We believe it makes a difference to society when you do things like that. Most recently, in March and April 2020, we made donations towards PPE and safety equipment for local hospitals in dire straits due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which hit New York incredibly hard earlier in 2020.”

Delivering quality As Stephen suggests, Covid-19 has been an inescapable topic for businesses across the world in 2020, and the situation has been no different for PCC. Reacting quickly to the onset of the virus, the company implemented remote meeting software like Microsoft Teams prior to March 2020, which facilitated safe and efficient communication throughout

the year. As for the firm’s field operations, PCC stayed abreast of all the latest regulations and industry guidelines, as well as creating a Covid Task Team to help with the completion of daily temperature checks, sanitizing, and other additional covid prevention measures. Though the pandemic forced PCC to entertain new ways of working, the firm has continued to deliver the same quality product for which it is renowned. In February 2020, PCC was a competitive low bidder on a unique $31 million cable suspension bridge project for NYCDOT in Brooklyn. The signature scheme involves the removal and replacement of two pedestrian bridges that span the Belt Parkway in a high visibility location by means of full demolition, new abutment with true arch ribs and bracing, suspension superstructure, concrete deck, and new landing stairs and ramps. More recently, in June 2020, the firm was pleased to be a competitive low bidder once again, this time on a high profile, four-year project for the NYCDDC. Located between East 14th Street and East 25th Street in lower Manhattan, the development has been many years in the making following


Hurricane Sandy. It will address the threat of flood risk to property, landscapes, businesses and critical infrastructure. The project scope includes full reconstruction of multiple parks, new floodwalls with floodgates and complete infrastructure improvements.

People power Despite the uncertainty around the persistence of Covid-19, PCC continues to thrive. Chez argues that the company’s workforce deserves a large portion of the credit. “To help the company overcome the challenges it has faced over the years, PCC has always had great employees with a strong depth of experience, the right attitude, and good understanding of accountability when working in and around unexpected changes,” he states. “Much of our success is a direct result of the people we have with us. Along with their dedication to safety, our teams strive for continuous improvement, finding ways to deliver projects early, and always leaving the owner with a quality-built product. “Every day we feel honored to be part of, and contribute towards, making a difference to all the agencies we work for. We’re proud

to leave our city a better place as we build roads & bridges, upgrade vital underground water and sewer utilities, and make a difference in a variety of other heavy civil projects for NYC. “We’re extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful group of employees, many of whom have seen the company grow from the bottom up,” Tadeo Bolgiani declares, PCC’s Chief Financial Officer. “Every department contributes and we feel we reward that through recognition, career advancement, encouraging personal development and providing support. We are a medium-sized, family organization and our people benefit from that. This is not a large corporate environment; there is a lot of room for opportunity.” To support its employees, and to help keep them safe, PCC continues to invest in the industry’s latest technology, including GPS,

NYCDDC’s Contract SANDHW12 – Reconstruction of Rockaway Beach Boulevard …pile driving to support new watermain on reconstructed Rockaway Beach Blvd!

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Perfetto Contracting Co

Left: NYC DDC assigned PCC to rebuild a 0.75-mile segment of West Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn Right: Bushwick Inlet park district headquarters and comfort station

cameras, and state-of-the-art management software. In 2018, the company installed Viewpoint, a complete construction project delivery software designed to improve cost management and help PCC extract better data from the field. “Better data makes for better decisions, both today and tomorrow,” proclaims Tadeo. “That’s why we’ve added the technological improvements in software.”

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Strong values “Everything else is geared towards safety,” he adds. “GPS, cameras onboard our equipment, and cameras on job sites, are aimed at keeping our people extremely safe, as well as helping to enforce rules and regulations across the board. Safety is critical in every industry, but especially in construction, and technology has offered us a big improvement in health and

safety over the last three or four years.” When it comes to the future, PCC is, in many ways, already well prepared for what the coming years may hold. Alongside its commitment to technology, the firm is highly environmentally responsible and re-uses and recycles onsite material on the majority of its projects. Recent investment in material processing equipment has enabled the company to take concrete and soil removed from a site and transform it into high-quality permanent material capable of meeting client design specifications. It is a green approach to construction in line with modern trends and is not only environmentally beneficial, but also allows for quicker product delivery and as such, the faster completion of projects. “At the moment, we are growing at a very healthy and steady pace. We’ve competitively bid new larger heavy civil projects in NYC, which have increased our overall revenue and backlog during these uncertain times. With that said, we’re always open to bidding on new scopes of work to expand into, while maintaining our core strength to grow the business and develop our people.” Success at PCC is derived from each team member’s willingness to unite behind the company’s core values of integrity, hard work, and teamwork. The shared belief and common ethos has allowed the organization to rise to the top, and as a result, Chez and Stephen are always on the lookout for driven, willing, qualified, and talented individuals keen to join PCC and develop with the company on the next phase of its journey. “In the business today, we have project managers that started with us as junior engineers, and an Assistant Project Manager that became General Superintendent,” Chez says. “We are an evolving business, and our people evolve with us.”


NYCDDC’s Contract SANDRESM2 - East Side Coastal Resiliency …UPCOMING RECENT AWARD $163M PROJECT, includes full reconstruction of multiple parks, over 3500LF of floodwalls with floodgates and complete infrastructure improvements.

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Groom Construction

Renowned for

quality

With a reputation for working on challenging projects in a variety of settings, Groom Construction continues to grow its business locally and nationally

B

Groom Construction www.groomco.com Services: A leading provider of General Contracting services throughout the United States

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ased in Salem, Massachusetts, Groom Construction (Groom) is a leading national General Contracting firm that has been building exceptional projects for over four decades. Groom, founded in 1979 and incorporated in 1985 by Tom, Dave and Dwight Groom, along with fellow principal Scott Faulkner, remains a family-owned, full-service general contracting firm, offering preconstruction, construction management, design-build and general construction services throughout the US. What began more than four decades ago as a residential firm quickly evolved into a national general contracting business synonymous throughout the Greater Boston area and now nationally, with the highest levels of

construction excellence, quality and integrity. Groom’s principals and senior project management team has a considerable depth of experience that spans the commercial, multifamily and private residential, retail, academic and non-profit sectors, having completed a multitude of successful projects in these areas, as well as corporate office, banking, healthcare, athletic and other sectors. Dave Groom credits the in-depth knowledge of Groom’s leadership team and the direct involvement and attention of the company principals on projects as one of the areas that sets Groom apart from the competition. Gary Stoloff, current Owner’s Project Manager on a complex commercial renovation of the iconic Coolidge Theatre in Brookline, MA stated: “David


Groom, principal, committed himself and his time to the project with an impressive hands-on approach which is quite rare with the larger general contracting firms. “ Dave continued: “Our expert team of managers and supervisors work together to provide the best project experience possible,” he stated. “We work diligently during all phases of preconstruction and construction to ensure clients are getting the very best value for their project. Our staff will help sort through value engineering options, constructability and their impacts on schedule, cost and quality.” As seasoned builders, Groom understands the critical need for long-term quality, durability and efficiency, as well as the need to balance these factors within the constraints of budget and turnover date. Ongoing collaboration with owners, architects, engineers and subcontractors to communicate responsibilities and leverage expertise is essential to the

success of each project. By recognizing and appreciating everyone’s role, its team approach continues to produce success and results in long-lasting client and industry relationships. Thad Sieimasko, Principal of SV Design shared: “SV Design views successful projects as requiring a strong ‘three-legged stool’ the legs consisting of the Owner, Architect and Builder. Groom Construction has proven to be a very strong leg of that stool throughout their organization and we can give them our highest recommendation.” Groom has continued to evolve over the years, winning many awards and plaudits along the journey, including the 2019 Excellence in Construction Award from the Boston Real Estate Times, the Youth Build North Shore Community Development Award, the 2018 Family Business Exchange Award along with numerous residential awards including Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston - Custom Builder North, and several North Shore Magazine’s Annual Custom Builder Awards, among others. Recent years have seen significant growth, leading to its inclusion on the Inc. 5000 List 2020, as one of the 5000 fastest growing private companies in America. Dave highlighted that Groom’s achievements have led to not just industry awards but also greater visibility in the Boston area and increased name recognition following the completion of larger projects. Receiving excellent recommendations and forming strong client, architect and industry relationships has also led to the business recently being awarded several high profile complex projects. Dwight Groom, who founded and oversees the national Retail Division along with Scott Faulkner stated: “We are steadily expanding our volume of retail work with our long term existing national clients (Target, Best Buy, CVS, TD Bank) while simultaneously acquiring significant new retail accounts,” he noted. “We selectively choose whom we think best to

partner with and have aligned ourselves with companies who share our values and integrity.” The Residential Division continues to grow, including larger multi-unit development projects currently under construction or in the design stage. Tom Groom, President, who heads the Residential Division, recently completed Fishermans Watch, a luxury condominium project located in Swampscott, MA. This $16M development of 28 luxury residences, includes penthouse suites, first floor units equipped with Beacon Hill style gardens, rooftop clubhouse common area, workout facility, and other amenities such as underground parking. Located at the highest point in Swampscott, many of the units offer sweeping ocean views of Swampscott, Nahant, and the Boston skyline. Groom undertook this project as both Developer and General Contractor. Currently under construction, BRIX, a $24M, 61-unit luxury condo project is located in the heart of downtown Salem, MA. Located on the grounds of the former District Courthouse, Groom worked closely with developer, Urban Spaces, the Hon. Kimberly Driscoll, Mayor of Salem as well as community members for several years in an open and collaborative team approach to bring this project to Salem. Construction completion, despite Covid challenges, remains on track for spring 2021. A large and growing amount of Groom’s work includes the affordable housing sector. Groom is well known for offering preconstruction budgeting during the funding phase to many non-profit clients. Currently under construction, Groom is partnering once again with the North Shore Community Development Coalition (NSCDC) on Harbor Village, a $10M+ affordable housing project that included three years of preconstruction planning. “Harbor Village will create much needed housing to residents in the City of Gloucester,” said Mickey Northcutt, Executive Director of NSCDC. The project also features an exciting passive house sustainable

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Groom Construction

design. Dave shared: “It has been great to work once again with Icon Architects and local non-profit, Action Inc. We have also enjoyed ongoing collaboration and received enormous support from local officials including Mayor

affordable rental units, three ground floor commercial spaces, and 30 off-street parking spaces. Additionally, Groom was just recently awarded an $11M+ Affordable Housing

Sefatia Romeo Theken.” Located in the heart of Gloucester’s downtown, Harbor Village is a mixed-use development consisting of 30 residential, one, two and three-bedroom

development, Anchor Point, located in Beverly, MA. Having worked with client Harborlight Community Partners in the past and having been involved with the client and design team

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during preconstruction, Groom is thrilled to break ground this spring on phase one of this community development. The project will bring critically needed housing to North Shore families in need. With any construction project, preconstruction planning is crucial. Groom excels in this area and reflecting this expertise, it has been hired for preconstruction for a $10M+ affordable housing project in Boston. “We are working with Codman Square Neighborhood Development Coalition on the renovation of six affordable buildings,” explained Dave. “With our focus on diversity initiatives, we will employ both Boston residents and a large percentage of minority owned businesses. Patty Colone, our Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, is leading the efforts to expand our diverse supplier database as well as instituting new diversity initiatives with HR Director, Nicole Barbeau and Groom’s senior management team. One such initiative is the institution of three scholarships in 2021 to be given to high school students embarking on a career in construction or an apprenticeship program in the trades.”


Groom has earned a reputation for excellence by thinking ‘outside the box.’ It is accustomed to making possible what others say is not, and Warwick Place is a great example. The ground-up, 42,000 square foot mixed-use building, located in the heart of Marblehead, MA, was delivered in only 12 short months. The project included a restaurant, cafe, two movie theaters, and various retail spaces. “Complexity comes in many shapes and sizes, and we are confident that we have the tools and expertise to turn every challenge into an opportunity,” said Dave. The team at Groom has an unwavering motivation and understanding of the company’s culture and dedication to quality. “We have an amazing team with a low staff turnover,” confirmed Dave. “We focus on elevating from within and providing the resources needed for employees to grow – competitive pay, bonuses, and a supportive team culture. We are a family-owned business and we truly think of our Groom team as family.” Given this dedication to its employees, it is not surprising that when confronted with the global Covid-19 pandemic, Groom’s reaction was immediate and proactive. It was the first company in the region to certify over 70 project managers and field superintendents in Covid-19 Job Site Infectious Disease Safety Measures and introduced an extremely comprehensive Mandatory Safety Protocol for its Construction Sites. It also worked immediately to provide all staff with laptops and the necessary technology to successfully sustain a remote workforce. Groom communicated the Federal and State Covid regulations with all employees and subcontractor partners across the country and enforced all CDC and WHO recommendations. Dave said: “Groom was fortunate that MA law categorized residential as ‘critical’ and retail and banking as ‘essential construction’ so our two large multi-unit projects, Harbor Village and BRIX were allowed to continue. Retail work with TD Bank, CVS Pharmacy and Target continued as well, with limited postponement of projects, as did our private residential work. “A portion of Groom’s national retail work actually increased due to Covid-19, such as the Installation of Covid-Testing Boxes in CVS locations in multiple states, and Target Customer Pick Up locations to enhance Target’s safety measures.” Groom’s deep sense of commitment to the community is reflected in its relationship with its staff and the community at large. “We strive to support the local economy, inspire youth to enter into the construction industry

and stand committed to providing on-going support and leadership to improve the lives of residents in our community,” said David. Always forward thinking, the company continues to seek development opportunities for multi-unit projects and micro-units as well to address the critical escalating need for housing across the country. While 2020 remains challenging, Groom Construction is not only enduring but thriving, and its 2021 plans include managing its growth

in the housing, academic and retail arenas. “From preconstruction through to completion, we are truly a multifaceted firm now embarking on our 42nd year in business,” Dave concluded. “We are recognized in the industry for excellent work, multiple market-experienced, professional staff, outstanding teamwork and the ability to meet construction challenges with a creative thoughtful approach. Our pledge is to always deliver the finest quality workmanship on time and within budget.”

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The Kearney Companies

Sunshine State specialists

The Kearney Companies www.thekearneycompanies.com Services: Excavation, earthworks and a variety of similar construction services

Family owned and operated for over 60 years, The Kearney Companies provides a complete scope of site construction and development services across West Florida

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A

business with humble beginnings‌for The Kearney Companies (TKC), everything started with a single bulldozer. In 1956, the year Bing Kearney was born, his father, Wes, purchased a TD9 International bulldozer and began operating as a small land clearing and earthmoving business. After some early success, Wes added more equipment as he could afford and as demand grew. By the time Bing was a sophomore in high school in 1971, the Kearney family hired its first external employee to work alongside the family.

Wes Kearney, circa. 1970


Today, in 2020, nearly 65 years later, The Kearney Companies remains as a third-generation family business with Bing Kearney’s son, Chase Kearney as the owner. However, much has changed in terms of Kearney’s original capabilities as the firm evolved into a site contractor capable of providing a full line of services, including site clearing, excavation, earthwork, clearing and grubbing, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water and fire lines, underdrains, and soil stabilization, along with curb, base and pavement operations. Though the company has performed a number of governmental projects over the many years, Kearney presently operates mainly in the private sector, which includes national homebuilders, commercial and industrial developers, as well as multifamily developers amongst its key clients. Primarily working within a 75-mile radius of its Riverview, Florida office, Kearney has built a solid reputation for its technical expertise and expeditious performance without compromising either cost, efficiency, or safety practices. “A lot of the success we have had at The Kearney Companies can be attributed to being able to self-perform the majority of the portions of the work that we used to subcontract out to our competitors,” Bing explains. “These companies would take forever and a year to finish the work, to the point where no one would want to hire us for new projects because the job would take so long! As a result, the Company evolved into the curb and base business, as well as the asphalt and surveying business. By 2005, we had over 120 dump trucks, a survey company, a fuel distribution company, a soil cement road base manufacturing company, as well as multiple other companies under our corporate banner. Business was solid and steady up until 2009, which was a horrible year for our industry as we lost most of our major competitors in the Tampa Bay area. We were able to keep most of our key personnel through the down time years and rebuilt the business back up as the economy dictated and allowed.” Demand for Kearney’s services remains consistently high and, in recent years, the company has worked on a diverse range of projects. These include developments such as Triple Creek, a community south of

reveals. “Since we got in there, it has been one additional phase after another, to the

businesses all over the world over to adapt and reassess their ways of working.

point where Triple Creek has become – on a consolidated basis – one of the larger overall projects which we have recently done. “Belmont, another developer near Triple Creek, recently spun off and sold a number of its parcels to a couple of large home builders and we have retained the majority of those projects as well. Success in this market seems to breed more success and so TKC is currently working on a 12 plus million-dollar project for Amazon, which is also in close proximity to our corporate headquarters.” Of course, Kearney’s impressive growth journey faced obstacles in 2020, namely the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced

Nevertheless, Kearney was designated as a ‘critical industry’ qualification earlier in the year, and has been able to continue operating throughout the crisis. For the Kearney Companies, the most important objective in 2020 has been to keep Kearney’s employees safe. “Since Covid, we initiated the taking of temperatures and oxygen levels of all of our office employees every day in order to do our best to keep the virus away from our people,” Bing explains. “In the field, we have provided non-contact forehead thermometers to do the same testing and we also have some ultra-strict protocols in place,

Riverview, where the company has been involved for over the last four years. “We have been working on various phases of development at Triple Creek, primarily earthwork and roadway infrastructure,” Bing

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The Kearney Companies whereby all of our equipment operators are required to daily clean their equipment. We have provided gloves, masks, handwashing stations and other gear across all of our projects in order to make them as safe as possible. A lot of our scope of work lends itself to working individually (i.e. equipment operators), but we also have multiple pipe crews and road crews which tend to work in a closer proximity; so we have been diligent in trying to keep all of our employees very aware of implementing the safety protocols which we have in place.” As we approach the end of 2020, the Kearney’s are keen to praise the company’s workforce for their dedication and resolve in a year unlike any other. A tight and experienced team of professionals, Kearney’s employees have been the driving factor behind the company’s success in recent years and the Kearney’s hope is that the firm can continue to hire and train effectively into many years to come. “One of things the company does well is retraining new employees and getting them educated and stabilized in their job roles, as well as understanding how the Kearney Companies performs,” Bing says. “You are looking at unskilled laborers which we train to use various pieces of heavy equipment. We place a real emphasis on getting people vertically trained, so it means that we can provide additional support available across the business. We have done a good job in cross-training and up-training our employees this year, particularly at a time when acquiring highly skilled labor is extremely challenging to find within our

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industry. Our policy is to not take on a bad employee just to add to our number of employees, but we will take on as many good people as we can find that become available. For example, we recently hired a couple of estimators, which we think will add to our annual revenue volume going up in the next year or two, just by being able to bid additional projects.� As Bing suggests, all eyes at Kearney are already looking to the future and alongside its new hires, the company has also added computer technology into its estimating department, as well as some

Allied Trucking of Central Florida Trust, efficiency, and professionalism is a brief description of our relationship with The Kearney companies. After seven years of our foray into the Central Florida area, we have managed to establish a solid relationship where trust has been fundamental for mutual growth. The efficiency with which they operate their jobs demonstrate their years of experience where engineering and logistics knowledge always prevails. The level of professionalism of his entire team is superior.

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The Kearney Companies heavy equipment that could help increase efficiency in the New Year. As more and more Americans look for alternatives to living and working in big metropolitan areas, such as New York or Los Angeles, Florida is a state with increasing demand, which, unsurprisingly, fills Kearney with great hope for the years ahead. “Project wise, we typically find out about a new development around six months before it is fully permitted. A main barometer we rely on is the National Homebuilders goal to increase the number of homes in the US,” Bing asserts. “For instance, one of the largest builders in the Tampa Bay area did 3,200 homes in 2020, and they are projecting 3,800 in 2021, so that is a large percent increase. These statistics are a few of the factors which we measure our decisions and corporate expectations moving forward. ” One area of focus for Kearney going forward will be finding and hiring passionate, capable staff to fill the void left by those who plan on retiring in the future. To combat this challenge, the firm implemented an Employee Reward and Incentive Program for

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existing staff referrals – an initiative that is proving to be a success. “In this type of construction market, especially in Florida, the turnover rate for unskilled labor is generally quite high, but we have a successful initiative where we provide bonuses to employees that secure friends, relatives, or neighbors that have industry knowledge or desire to be trained in our company,” Bing states. “The longer they remain here, the higher the bonus is as well; so, that incentive has helped to improve longevity, which is very important to us. Our growth is primarily not limited by our equipment or ability resources, but how successful we are at finding new employees with a great work ethic who will get the job done well and on time.”

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Hylan

The smart solution Working across the US, Hylan is a leading provider of full-service, turnkey communications solutions and electrical infrastructure design and construction services

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Hylan https://hylan.com Services: Provider of full-service turnkey communications solutions, electrical infrastructure design and construction services

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riginally founded as Hylan Datacom & Electrical 60 years ago in New York City, Hylan now serves a wide variety of endmarkets throughout the US. Headquartered in Holmdel, New Jersey at the Bellworks complex (the former home of Bell Labs) the business also has offices and facilities in New York, New Jersey, Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia, with many of these organized as field locations where crews are housed along with hundreds of vehicles and pieces of equipment. This national reach means that customers can approach Hylan for all their needs from coast to coast. In 2018, Hylan - supported by private equity firms Flexis Capital and TZP Capital Partners - acquired three companies to accelerate its growth strategy, making Hylan the parent

company to four divisions: Hylan Datacom & Electrical, Hylan West, Down Under Construction and Western Utility. Through its divisions, Hylan is able to provide a range of comprehensive services, as Joe Cecin, Chief Executive Officer began by explaining. “We work across the Wireline, Wireless, and Municipal/Smart City segments and can assist clients in a number of areas. So, for example, we undertake Telecom Outside Plant Construction - underground and aerial fiber construction and splicing; and Small Cell and DAS design and construction on behalf of the nation’s largest wireless carriers. We can perform electrical contracting for bridges and highways, as well as engineering, utility construction and maintenance and upgrades to critical network infrastructure.” What unites these areas is Hylan’s commitment to reliability and quality and


“As infrastructure providers, Hylan is well positioned to participate in the rapid expansion of electric vehicle charging stations and associated infrastructure. We have already participated in numerous charging station projects and are involved in bidding on some very large projects for municipalities looking to increase their fleet of electric cars, taxis and buses� 41 WWW.CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM


Hylan

Joe confirms that these traits have been the foundations for its ongoing growth. “Our success has been rooted in our ability to complete difficult projects on time and on budget for our customers. We are known as a ‘can do’ organization, and our field teams are second to none,” he stated, identifying another area that differentiates Hylan from the competition – its staff. “Our success is all because of the hard work and dedication of our Hylan Family, and we tell them often. At Hylan, we treat all of our employees as family. We started off as a family-owned and operated business 60 years ago and we have worked to keep that feeling strong, even as we have continued to grow. We also encourage our shared Mission Statement, and our Shared Values: Character, Competence and Commitment. We highlight our people’s efforts to live those values through our work, and it drives a common sense of purpose and engagement throughout the team. “I appreciate this opportunity to talk about our amazing team. None of this would be possible without the dedication and support of our men and women in the field who are getting the work done in difficult circumstances.” Having raised the issue of today’s current working conditions and the inevitable specter of coronavirus, Joe described how Hylan’s

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operations were impacted by Covid-19, and what the organization had to do to overcome the challenges it faced. “As a construction company building the very infrastructure that we have come to rely on even more during the pandemic, Hylan was deemed essential from the beginning,” he explained. “Our work never stopped, as we have to carry out maintenance and complete projects that directly affect the ability to connect to the internet. However, we have had to limit how many workers are at sites, provide PPE to all of our employees and keep our office employees working remotely from home. It has been a tough year, but we have never stopped working. Our team has risen to the challenge and taken the proper precautions to make sure the Hylan Family has remained safe and healthy.” Looking in more detail at some of Hylan’s projects is a good way of highlighting the capabilities of the Group, and Joe identified a selection that showcases the essential and complicated nature of its work. “We have completed a number of high-profile projects on behalf of our customers across the country,” he said. “In New York City, we completed the buildout of an Amazon fulfilment center, as well as numerous lighting and intelligent traffic system (ITS) projects in and around New York. In the DC area, we are involved in the buildout of fiber and

data centers in Northern Virginia, helping to expand internet infrastructure and electronic commerce. In the Chicagoland area, we are working to improve the communications infrastructure along the Illinois Tollway system. Moving out west, we have installed distributed antenna systems (DAS) to improve communications inside several malls in California, as well as digital display boards along the Los Angeles Metro system.” Another exciting area is also developing for Hylan as the world continues to look for new alternatives to fueling transportation and the evolution of electric vehicles speeds up. “As infrastructure providers, Hylan is well positioned to participate in the rapid expansion of electric vehicle charging stations and associated infrastructure,” Joe revealed. “We have already participated in numerous charging station projects and are involved in bidding on some very large projects for municipalities looking to increase their fleet of electric cars, taxis and buses.” Echoing this wider green remit, Hylan has its own environmental strategies, and as Joe noted, the business operates in a very regulated sector when it comes to the environment, requiring vigilance and attention to detail on its projects. “Those requirements vary on a state-by-state basis,” he said, adding another degree of complexity. “We


communications infrastructure in history. We welcome that challenge. “Down the road, in three to five years, I can easily see us doubling the size of the company organically and through acquisitions as we continue to establish Hylan as a ‘go-to’ communications and smart city infrastructure provider for 5G and beyond.” abide by very stringent restoration guidelines whenever we plow, trench or bore in the ground, to return the land to a pristine state after our work. We are also optimizing our fleet for lower emissions, and employing field force automation to reduce fuel consumption and miles driven.” The dedicated approach that Hylan adopts across its operations has not gone unrecognized by the industry and it has received numerous awards over the years, all of which make the business very proud. “It is always an honor to receive an award and be recognized for your hard work,” agreed Joe. 2020 saw another accolade bestowed on the business when it was presented with the Best Staten Island Electrician Award, and this one in particular resonated with Joe and his team. “This award was an acknowledgment of our 60-plus year history proudly serving the electrical, telecommunications and construction industries. Hylan was founded on the principles of a powerful work ethic and a strong customer-centric approach, and we are proud to carry this tradition of excellence into 2021 and beyond. Winning awards like this is thanks to our incredible customers, partners, stakeholders and our Hylan Family.” As 2020 drew to a close, Hylan left the year with ambitious aims for its next era of growth, with plans for additional expansions throughout the US on the agenda for 2021. “I am very proud of all we have accomplished in 2020 and am looking forward to the future with great excitement!” exclaimed Joe. “We have learned to safely operate in the ‘new normal’ that is Covid-19 and our people are involved in the largest expansion of

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